PLATTSBURGH – Think you’ve seen it all at the Kent-Delord House Museum, think again.
The Plattsburgh Museum has a special exhibit called “Treasures from the Attic,” which runs May 6, 7, and 8 and features rare heirlooms that are rarely or never displayed.
Among them are a wedding dress from 1832, military objects from the Civil War and manuscripts.
“This event is very special to us because we are releasing pieces that are rarely or never seen by the general public,” said Samantha Williams, museum director.
“These pieces are so fragile, so delicate, and so we usually cannot display them. So this is an opportunity for members of the public over three days, May 6-8, to see these really, really beautiful pieces that we just can’t get out all the time.
Williams’ favorite artifacts are ballroom dancing shoes from the 1830s.
“They’re in such perfect condition that they still have the original manufacturer’s paper tags,” she said.
“These shoes must have been created before 1832. They are in incredible condition. We have a few pairs. We have a pair of black silk slippers and then we also have a pair of white silk slippers that have these beautiful pink ribbon flowers on the toes. They are superb. They are simply stunning.
A board member craves an 1832 wedding dress created entirely from French silk lace.
“It was Frances Henrietta,” Williams said.
“She was the daughter of Henry Delord and Betsey Delord. She was married in our Gold Parlor in 1832. We have her original wedding dress, and it will be on display this weekend.
The museum’s collection includes a letter, which tells the story of the dress.
“We have a letter from her mother detailing how they raised the funds to purchase this incredible material and have this wedding dress made, specifically for Frances Henrietta’s wedding,” Williams said.
“She was their only child, so they did everything. We know that the fabric comes from Paris and that it was imported here for the needs of her wedding dress. So whether it was completed in France or here, I’m not 100% sure. »
Treasures on display include the Civil War saber of New York 16th Regiment chaplain Francis “Frank” Bloodgood Hall, husband of Fannie Delord Webb Hall.
“It’s also in immaculate condition,” Williams said.
“Actually, he came here after his service in the Civil War. We have his saber and we have his saddle that he used in the Civil War. These will both be exhibited with his Medal of Honor. Frank was one of four Civil War chaplains to be awarded a Medal of Honor for distinction and bravery on the battlefield.
Hall refused any compensation for service to his country and he was at the Battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Salem Heights, VA. In Salem Heights, he rode his horse into the battlefield to rescue wounded soldiers.
“It’s just for those three days,” Williams said.
“All these pieces will be put back in reserve to be carefully preserved. This is a truly unique opportunity. We do not know if we will be able to bring these pieces out as they are delicate and fragile. It’s a very, very limited time offer, and we really hope people come and see it.